I've traveled on 24 flights to nine countries this year.
As a frequent flyer, I've made several mistakes while traveling through airports.
Passengers should avoid overpacking their bags and wearing uncomfortable shoes for a hassle-free experience.
As Insider's travel reporter in Singapore, I fly regularly for work and leisure. This year alone, I've taken some 24 flights to nine different countries, including Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines.
I've flown low-cost airlines like Malaysia's AirAsia and the Philippines's Cebu Pacific, as well as five-star airlines like Singapore Airlines. And on all of these flights, I've witnessed passengers doing things that lead to unnecessarily uncomfortable experiences.
No matter what airline, passengers can follow several rules and guidelines for a smooth journey. Here are five of the most common mistakes passengers make when they fly and what they can do to avoid them.
1. Trying to pass off overweight luggage and having to pay inflated fees at the counter.
Many airlines have strict policies when it comes to overweight bags. In February, I traveled with the Vietnamese low-cost airline VietJet Air from Taiwan to Vietnam and ended up paying almost $100 for additional baggage allowance. Purchasing baggage allowance in advance would have cost me less than $50.
It's also important to ensure your carry-on bags fit the overhead compartments and aren't oversized as you might have to check them in, even if they aren't overweight. For example, Southwest Airlines only allows one carry-on bag per passenger, and it must measure a maximum of 24 x 16 x 10 inches.
Paying for baggage allowance in advance may initially appear costly, but it should help to avoid expensive fees from popping up last minute.
2. Wearing uncomfortable footwear that makes walking on airstairs difficult.
When I go on vacation, I often opt for fancy footwear — including sandals and heels. But I've come to realize that this isn't the smartest choice, especially when flying budget airlines.
Recently, I flew to Krabi, Thailand from Singapore wearing a pair of woven leather heels. It was uncomfortable to walk down the airstair on Scoot — a budget airline in Singapore — while carrying my bags, and I regretted not having worn sneakers instead.
Save the fancy footwear for sightseeing or dining out instead, and stick with your comfiest pair of kicks when it comes to travel.
3. Wearing too many accessories on a flight and holding up the line at security.
Getting past security at airports is one of the most stressful parts of flying. It's a hectic process, with bags often being checked and contents undergoing meticulous examination. Passengers often have to pass through a metal detector, which scans for common metals like steel and brass.
Costume jewelry and accessories like belts are often made with these metals, so you have to remove them whenever you pass through the metal detector. Avoid holding up the line by removing outerwear before walking to security and forgo wearing accessories altogether — style your outfits with silhouettes and pops of color instead.
4. Not following guidelines when it comes to bringing liquids in a carry-on bag.
Security at airports is extremely strict about the amount of liquid — like shampoo and perfume — you bring in your carry-on. Each liquid must be stored in containers that are 100 milliliters, or 3.4 ounces or less, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Liquids that are larger than that must be stored in the checked-in bag, per TSA regulations.
Outside the US, the rule about liquid sizes still applies. In April, when I was flying from Singapore to Laos with Scoot, airport security had to throw away four bottles of liquids that were over 3.4 ounces. As I was traveling with only a carry-on suitcase, I had no choice but to repurchase all my essentials once I landed.
Remember to only use containers that are clearly labeled as 3.4 ounces and store them in a clear bag in case of any security checks.
5. Arriving at the airport later than the advised time.
Many airports advise passengers to arrive at least three hours before the scheduled departure time — and for good reason. Sometimes, passengers experience issues at check-in counters and security checks, requiring more time to make it to the gate.
In April, I was flying from Bangkok to Singapore via Suvarnabhumi Airport, the city's largest airport. I then realized that I left my passport at a money changer some 45 minutes away. Since I arrived at the airport just an hour and a half before the scheduled departure time, I ended up missing my flight and spending over $100 on a new ticket.
Make sure to account for traffic and make your way to the airport as early as you can — especially if you're flying from a busy airport where lines are long.
Read the original article on Insider